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Jury awards VHT $8.32M in battle with Zillow

Fight over copyright infringement complaints not finished

After nearly a year and half legal battle between VHT and Zillow Group over copyright infringement complaints, the court award VHT $79,875 in actual damages and $8.24 million in statutory damages, but the court battle isn’t getting put to rest yet.

Amanda Woolley, a Zillow spokesperson said, “We have persistently maintained our belief that this suit was without merit. While we are pleased that the majority of original claims were dismissed in this case, we regret that the jury did not find for us completely on those that remained, and will vigorously pursue all options to overturn their verdict.” 

“We take copyright protection and enforcement seriously and will continue to respect copyright permissions across our platforms,” she said.

Back in July 2015, VHT filed a complaint against Zillow Group in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington alleging copyright infringement of VHT’s images on the Zillow Digs site, Zillow’s SEC filing stated.

VHT later amended the complaint in January 2016, alleging copyright infringement of VHT’s images son the Zillow Digs site, as well as the company’s listings site.

However, in 2016, the court granted a motion for partial summary judgment, dismissing VHT’s claims with respect to Zillow Group’s listing site.

This latest announcement reveals the jury’s verdict on the case.   

However, it’s not over yet, according to Zillow Group.

According to Zillow Group’s SEC filing, “The Company intends to file motions in the district court seeking judgment for the Company on certain claims that are the subject of the verdict, and for a new trial on others.”

“We intend to appeal any judgment that the court may enter on the verdict to the extent the district court does not set it aside as a result of these motions. The Company is seeking coverage from its insurance carrier for reimbursement of all recoverable legal expenses and any damages underlying the verdict that are not vacated,” it stated. 

VHT didn’t have an immediate comment at time of publication.

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